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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
December 7, 20181, Submitted, Seattle, Washington; March 12, 2019, Filed
[*1156] BYBEE, Circuit Judge:
We are asked to review the vitality of our 1993 holding that the Sentencing Guidelines may constitutionally impose a strict-liability enhancement where a defendant committed a crime with a stolen firearm. See United States v. Goodell, 990 F.2d 497 (9th Cir. 1993). Since that time, the Supreme Court has issued a number of opinions recasting the role the Guidelines play in a district court's sentencing decision. We conclude that none of these decisions affect Goodell. In holding once more that the strict-liability enhancement of § 2K2.1(b)(4) of the Sentencing Guidelines is constitutional, we join all ten of the other regional circuit courts.
David Prien-Pinto was convicted in Montana state court in 2014 of felony assault on a peace officer and burglary and sentenced to a term in state prison. He was released on parole in March 2016. After his release, a confidential source alerted a joint task force of federal and local law enforcement officers that Prien-Pinto was selling narcotics out of his home in Missoula. In [**3] September 2016, officers raided the home and arrested Prien-Pinto on marijuana and methamphetamine charges. Shortly after, Prien-Pinto's wife reported to local police that she had hidden a Taurus Model 94 .22 caliber revolver ("the firearm") at Prien-Pinto's instruction. Prien-Pinto admitted to possessing the firearm and told police that a friend had given him the firearm as payment for a marijuana debt.
Police traced the firearm's serial number and determined that it had been stolen the previous summer from its owner in Kalispell, about 120 miles north of Missoula. The owner identified the firearm and told police it had been taken from the glove compartment of his vehicle during a break-in. The owner denied knowing Prien-Pinto.
Montana authorities held Prien-Pinto on a parole violation. He has remained in state custody since his arrest, serving a prison sentence on various state charges. In August 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Prien-Pinto on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). He pleaded guilty, without a plea agreement, in November 2017.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
917 F.3d 1155 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7215 **
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DAVID PRIEN-PINTO, Defendant-Appellant.
Subsequent History: As Corrected April 19, 2019.
US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Prien-Pinto v. United States, 205 L. Ed. 2d 105, 2019 U.S. LEXIS 4901 (U.S., Oct. 7, 2019)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana. D.C. No. 9:17-cr-00025-DLC-1. Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge, Presiding.
United States v. Prien-Pinto, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209421 (D. Mont., Dec. 20, 2017)
enhancement, Guidelines, sentencing, firearm, stolen firearm, stolen, mens rea, strict-liability, altered, district court, federal statute, argues
Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Conclusions of Law, Appeals, De Novo Review, Sentencing, Sentencing Guidelines, Sentencing Guidelines, Adjustments & Enhancements, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Criminal Process, Right to Jury Trial, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection